Email Retention Policy - PDF by abstraks


									                                        Email Retention Policy

Created by or for the SANS Institute. Feel free to modify or use for your organization. If you have a
policy to contribute, please send e-mail to

1.0 Purpose
The Email Retention Policy is intended to help employees determine what information sent or received by
email should be retained and for how long.

The information covered in these guidelines includes, but is not limited to, information that is either stored
or shared via electronic mail or instant messaging technologies.

All employees should familiarize themselves with the email retention topic areas that follow this

Questions about the proper classification of a specific piece of information should be addressed to your
manager. Questions about these guidelines should be addressed to Infosec.

2.0 Scope
This email retention policy is secondary to <Company Name> policy on Freedom of Information and
Business Record Keeping. Any email that contains information in the scope of the Business Record
Keeping policy should be treated in that manner. All <Company Name> email information is categorized
into four main classifications with retention guidelines:
Administrative Correspondence (4 years)
Fiscal Correspondence (4 years)
General Correspondence (1 year)
Ephemeral Correspondence (Retain until read, destroy)

3.0 Policy
     3.1 Administrative Correspondence
     <Company Name> Administrative Correspondence includes, though is not limited to clarification of
established company policy, including holidays, time card information, dress code, work place behavior
and any legal issues such as intellectual property violations. All email with the information sensitivity
label Management Only shall be treated as Administrative Correspondence. To ensure Administrative
Correspondence is retained, a mailbox admin@<Company Name> has been created, if you copy (cc) this
address when you send email, retention will be administered by the IT Department.

     3.2 Fiscal Correspondence
     <Company Name> Fiscal Correspondence is all information related to revenue and expense for the
company. To ensure Fiscal Correspondence is retained, a mailbox fiscal@<Company Name> has been
created, if you copy (cc) this address when you send email, retention will be administered by the IT
    3.3 General Correspondence
    <Company Name> General Correspondence covers information that relates to customer interaction
and the operational decisions of the business. The individual employee is responsible for email retention of
General Correspondence.

    3.4 Ephemeral Correspondence
    <Company Name> Ephemeral Correspondence is by far the largest category and includes personal
email, requests for recommendations or review, email related to product development, updates and status

     3.5 Instant Messenger Correspondence
     <Company Name> Instant Messenger General Correspondence may be saved with logging function of
Instant Messenger, or copied into a file and saved. Instant Messenger conversations that are Administrative
or Fiscal in nature should be copied into an email message and sent to the appropriate email retention

    3.6 Encrypted Communications
    <Company Name> encrypted communications should be stored in a manner consistent with
<Company Name> Information Sensitivity Policy, but in general, information should be stored in a
decrypted format.

     3.7 Recovering Deleted Email via Backup Media
     <Company Name> maintains backup tapes from the email server and once a quarter a set of tapes is
taken out of the rotation and they are moved offsite. No effort will be made to remove email from the
offsite backup tapes.

4.0 Enforcement
Any employee found to have violated this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including
termination of employment.

5.0 Definitions
Terms and Definitions

Approved Electronic Mail
Includes all mail systems supported by the IT Support Team. These include, but are not necessarily limited
to, [insert corporate supported mailers here…]. If you have a business need to use other mailers contact the
appropriate support organization.

Approved Encrypted email and files
Techniques include the use of DES and PGP. DES encryption is available via many different public domain
packages on all platforms. PGP use within <Company Name> is done via a license. Please contact the
appropriate support organization if you require a license.

Approved Instant Messenger
The Jabber Secure IM Client is the only IM that is approved for use on <Company Name> computers.

Individual Access Controls
Individual Access Controls are methods of electronically protecting files from being accessed by people
other than those specifically designated by the owner. On UNIX machines, this is accomplished by careful
use of the chmod command (use man chmod to find out more about it). On Mac’s and PC's, this includes
using passwords on screensavers, such as Disklock.

Insecure Internet Links
Insecure Internet Links are all network links that originate from a locale or travel over lines that are not
totally under the control of <Company Name>.
Secure <Company Name> Sensitive information in accordance with the Acceptable Encryption Policy.
International issues regarding encryption are complex. Follow corporate guidelines on export controls on
cryptography, and consult your manager and/or corporate legal services for further guidance.

6.0 Revision History
28 July, 2003 Added discussion of backup media

To top